UPS Longitudes | A Small Business With a Big Appetite and a Five-Star Distribution Partner

UPS Longitudes | A Small Business With a Big Appetite and a Five-Star Distribution Partner

Sarah Matheson @ Hungry Harry's
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: Economic Enhancement

CONTENT: Article

Our son Harry was 3 years old when one bite of a cookie containing nuts sent him to the hospital with anaphylactic shock. It was a terrifying way to learn that Harry — like many other children — has a life-threatening allergy to nuts.

About 32 million Americans have food allergies. The allergies affect another 89 million Americans who take care of family members and friends unable to tolerate certain products. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people deal with food allergies.

So what happens when a food allergy enters your life? It adds a layer of complexity to everything you do. When Harry started school, my husband Rob and I carefully prepared his allergy-friendly lunches, keeping them fee of nuts and other foods that gave him problems — dairy, gluten, eggs and soy.

One day after school, Harry told us he hadn’t eaten because a classmate without allergies liked his homemade dishes so much that she gobbled them up. That night, I said to Rob “There’s something here. I just know it.”

“If you walk into a supermarket and see a shopper holding a package, focusing on the label, reading it intently, that’s potentially someone from a food allergy family.”

That something was a specialty food line we called Hungry Harry’s in honor of our son. We started with five baking mixes completely free of the top 14 food allergens. We knew this idea would help a lot of families like ours. If you walk into a supermarket and see a shopper holding a package, focusing on the label, reading it intently, that’s potentially someone from a food allergy family.

When food becomes potentially harmful instead of helpful, buying it becomes a huge challenge. We created Hungry Harry’s to help families meet that challenge.

A rise in the baking business

In less than two years, Hungry Harry’s has filled a growing need for many people. Our entire line of baking mixes come from simple ingredients in a dedicated facility free of the foods that cause most allergies.

Our website offers a full catalog of recipes (date-and-orange bread, mini pumpkin pie, koala cookies and many more) meant to help families share in the joy of baking and eating together. We ship directly to families nationwide, and our products are in more than 70 supermarkets in the Midwest.

“When COVID-19 swept across the world, many people began cooking more at home. This created a valuable sales opportunity for Hungry Harry’s, and we seized it.”

Rob and I both have experience in sales and marketing. We live the same life as other food allergy families. But we have combined life and business as we grow our brand.

When COVID-19 swept across the world, many people began cooking more at home. This created a valuable sales opportunity for Hungry Harry’s, and we seized it.

Ware2Go levels the playing field for small businesses

As Hungry Harry’s grew, our company needed a logistics partner to support us now and for the long term. We saw that our startup could grow to be its strongest and healthiest only with the help of a distribution partner able to offer three specific business and logistics solutions:

  • Handling ever-growing numbers of business-to-consumer orders online
  • Dealing with rising business-to-business sales to supermarkets and specialty stores
  • Scaling to handle fast growth while keeping shipping costs low and delivery times fast

We contacted UPS, which had been our shipping partner from the beginning. UPS, which operates in more than 220 countries and territories, clearly had the infrastructure and expertise to handle growth on a global scale. Next, we engaged with UPS’s Ware2Go, which offers a nationwide network of warehouses and technology to streamline fulfillment across sales channels — it was perfect for a company of our size.

Ware2Go matches our online and traditional retail orders with warehouse space and fulfillment services that a startup might not be able to afford on its own. UPS offers warehouses in strategic locations (three national sites for Hungry Harry’s) and then provides shipping, storage and pick-and-pack services, as well as guaranteed two-day delivery.

“We engaged with UPS’s Ware2Go, which offers a nationwide network of warehouses and technology to streamline fulfillment across sales channels — it was perfect for a company of our size.”

UPS and Ware2Go have given us much-needed support at every step. We get personalized insights and instruction through meetings and phone calls, not a pile of documents explaining the platform and processes like we got from some other providers. We now have the partner we need to ship any order.

With Ware2Go, we feel we have a place at the table with the grownups in the food industry — a competitive, but level playing field. We have the confidence we need to focus on e-commerce sales and on retail and distribution partnerships that will keep us growing. We know our supply chain is in good hands and that when the time comes for us to scale up, our partner is ready too.

That’s great news for millions of people with food allergies. We’re not trying to put our kids on the moon. We’re just trying to give them a good piece of chocolate cake, a rite of passage when it comes to being a kid, with or without food allergies. For food allergy families, you cannot underestimate the importance of feeling a food brand is reliable, safe and consistent.

Editor’s Note: Know anyone who might appreciate Hungry Harry’s allergy-free koala cookies? Check out the recipe here. #MakingAllergyFriendlyEasy

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